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Flash Floods Submerge Homes, Roads in Far East Russia

Flooding in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Social media

Dozens of towns and villages have been submerged under water in Russia’s Far East amid ongoing flash floods since early August, the environmental news outlet Kedr reported Friday.

Russia’s Primorye region — which for weeks has been under a region-wide state of emergency since — witnessed fresh flooding from heavy rainfall in 19 settlements.

Another 34 towns and villages in the Far East region have been entirely cut off from major roadways, Kedr reported, citing local emergency authorities.

Video shared online showed two schoolchildren riding an inflatable rubber boat on their first day of school in the city of Ussuriysk. 

Boats operated by emergency crews were the primary mode of transportation across the Primorye region during the back-to-school day on Friday, or as it is known in Russia “Day of Knowledge,” Kedr noted.

Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry warned that heavy rains would continue over the next two days, causing river banks to hit “critical” levels of up to 2.5 meters above normal levels and flood adjacent territories.

Meanwhile, authorities in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, the administrative capital of the Russian island of Sakhalin, imposed a citywide state of emergency after a monthly norm of rain fell in a single day.

More than 300 homes in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk were submerged by up to a meter of water, Kedr said.

Forecasters warn that Typhoon Saola, which is currently on approach to Hong Kong and southern China, will bring more heavy rains to the Russian Far East in early September.

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